City on Verge of Bankruptcy, Civil Servants Return Wages

Everline train model

As the city of Yongin faces colossal debts after the construction of a new train line, the city’s civil servants are asked to return part of their wages and bonuses. The following article generated hundreds of comments over the weekend from disgruntled netizens, questioning why the city’s residents voted the Saenuri Party in again, despite having been the party who originally went on with the go-ahead for the new line’s construction.

From KookMin Daily:

Light-rail costing a bomb, forcing even the civil servants of Yongin to return their wages

The city of Yongin in Gyeonggi Province is about to suffer from the aftereffects of serious financial difficulties which arose from its impractical light-rail business. Civil servants of the local government, including the mayor, must now endure the ‘humility’ of returning their annual pay awards. Shockingly enough, impact of the adult’s misjudgement will be shared by young children as well, as the city has to stop its projects on improvements of educational environment, including provision of school lunches and language-teaching facilities.

The city of Yongin announced on the 15th that the Ministry of Public Administration and Security gave a final approval on the 12th to issue a further municipal bond of 442 billion Won for the primary reparations regarding the Yongin Light-rail. With the approval, the Ministry imposed a condition that the city follows more than 20 financial management plans which was submitted to the Ministry by the city.

Therefore, 122 civil servants in 5th rank or higher, including the mayor Hak-Kyoo Kim, have to return the annual pay award of 3.8% (about 130,000 to 295,000 Won). The budget for the local policy works and operative budget must also be reduced by 10%.

Civil servants in lower ranks are also stripped of 25% of their overtime pays, 50% of their compensation for unused annual time-off (39,000~121,000 per person), and 40% of their day/night duty allowance (50,000 per person). Also curtailed will be 4 billion Won supporting the Welfare Point [cash-like points given annually to civil servants; can be used at certain shops and hospitals] for all the 2,800 workers in the city government, and 184 million Won supporting backpack trips of some 80 workers.

Of special importance, 7 billion 320 million Won for improving the educational environments and 23.9 billion Won for supporting the public business were cut as well, meaning the city is now unable to proceed with enhancements of school facilities, which was scheduled to happen this year.

The city council should also cut 30% off the annual operative budget for its Chair (31.1 million Won), Vice Chair (14.9 million Won) and 4 Chairmen of Standing Committee (48 million Won), plus half the budget for overseas training (54.9 million Won). In addition, the city has to re-review entirely the mayor’s pledge for establishment of a symphony orchestra and Korean classical orchestra (which had a budget of 1 billion Won). The other measures include minimisation of new civil work force and early purchase of the civil property.

Sources from the city government said that the city is planning to ask for public understanding by presenting policies for early repayment of the debt.

The city of Yongin completed construction of the light-rail ‘Ever Line’ in June 2010, with 1 trillion 3.2 billion Won spent on it. However the line has not yet been open due to problems with MRG (minimum revenue guarantee) with Yongin Light-rail Inc. and controversy over fraudulent construction work. The city is planning to use the additionally issued municipal bond to cover the primary reparations (515.9 billion Won) with regard to the Yongin Light-rail, which was decided by the International Court of Arbitration last year.

Comments from Daum:


비염환자:

Even when the city’s finances are down the drain with the light-rail… The Saenuri Party [where the mayor belongs to] member is elected again this time… The standard of that neighbourhood is just ~~~ xxxx

abc:

Yongin can’t pay its workers because of former mayor Jeong-Mun Lee (from Saenuri Party), and Incheon can’t pay its workers because of former mayor Sang-Su Ahn (from Saenuri Party), but still they favour that Party, still they continue to vote for that Party. No wonder they are stuck in their problem ke ke ke

해암:

The curse of Hannal Party = Poop-nuri Party!!!!! The mayor of Yongin and those from the Hannara Party who went on with the light-rail should be executed under the public order [*Hannal is short for Hannara, the old name of Saenuri Party. Poop-nuri is a derogatory joke term for Saenuri]

바람둥이sonic:

I searched for the person who pushed that project forward, assuming “he would be from Other-nara, must be Other-nara..” As expected… it was the Other-nara… a.k.a. Dog-nuri ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke Oh those dumbasses… Raise the [subway/underground] fares by 500 Won only for those who voted for the Dog-nuri, they’ll probably still vote for the Party ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke [This is referring to the rise in Seoul Metro fare by 500 Won in the line number 9, which is run by a private company.] [*Other-nara is a joke term for Han-nara, meaning ‘other country’ rather than the original meaning ‘one nation.’ Dog-nuri is also a derogatory term for Saenuri. ]

지성:

Risk of Incheon’s bankruptcy reported a few days ago was the masterpiece of Sang-Su Ahn from Hannara Party, and Yongin is that of another guy from Hannara. Dae-Yeob Lee of Hannara drove the city of Seong-nam into bankruptcy as well, and Yeong-Sam Kim [former president] made our whole country bankrupt. Whatever you let the asses from Hannara Party run, it fails. But some conmen change their title into Saenuri Party to fool and deceive the public, while the foolish and ignorant public gets played by their tunes. The whole nation is doomed.

토렌트:

It was a Hannara Party person [who was in the mayor’s seat] at that time, he must pay for it. And the civil servants return [their wages, etc.] now, but they will get them back later with whatever tricks.

제임수:

I just can’t understand those living in Yongin. They support the Party when it builds an extravagant and inefficient city hall creating a humongous debt. They still support the Party when it ruins their finances. They yet still support it when it accumulates debt building the light-rail. Congratulations, residents of Yongin. Keep it up that way. [*차떼기 originally means buying everything that a merchant has brought on his truck, with 떼기 meaning ‘buying all of something.’ These days it means bribing a politician by literally ‘giving money piled up to fill a whole truck’, a new meaning that arose from the incidence where Samsung left some 10 billion Won in a car for the Hannara Party politician to take, and return the empty car.]

그냥:

Spending recklessly all of ‘their’ money like ‘my’ money runs the livelihood down the drain.

goorane:

Ever Line it’s called? That reminds me of another company based in Yongin [Samsung, which owns Everland, a large amusement park in Yongin]. Can they so apparently advertise the business when it is supported by taxes from the public? Make the gap up by getting more taxes from the Yongin residents. Let them definitely do whatever they want to do, since they are asking for it with their votes.

해가뜬다:

They talk about building light-rail in Daegu and doubling up the Daegu subway line, don’t they? It’s sure to be in the red, but it feels like they are scooping up the tax revenue to spend recklessly.

진아롱:

By the way, the Welfare Points and backpacking allowances mount up to almost 2 million Won per person. My god, I lost my words at that. Freaking backpacking allowances… What the hell, really.

화이트호스:

Will it be possible to pay the debt just by doing so? Cut the number of civil workers to half… There are loads of civil servants actually not doing any work… I’m really sick of the civil servants’ habit of starting a project just to take up some money behind the scene and then duck out of it…

바람따라:

Well done, Saenuri Party… You should keep it up… So that the next regime will also become yours… ke ke ke ke ke Oh buggers…….

달타:

The demand for transport is constant, so who was the massive investment for? Who would take responsibility for the faulty estimation of the demand and misjudgement in planning an overly large budget?

탄호이저:

The Korea Transport Institute must take responsibility of their quack estimation of demands! Stop privatisation of KTX.

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  • lonetrey

    How did the city get so dangerously close to the edge? Aren’t there people in charge of sounding an alarm overseeing these kind of things?

    I’m not really saying this as criticism though. Sometimes, financial screw-ups happen. Happens all the time in America afterall.

    • Bruce Tutty

      You were expecting communist bureaucrats to know about market financing and structuring?

      • Brett Sanbon

        Yiu

      • Brett Sanbon

        You are at ko

        • Brett Sanbon

          Shit my phone is not being cooperative.

          You are at koreaBANG, not chinaSMACK. No commies here.

  • Brett Sanbon

    What is “light rail”? Is it a monorail, high speed train, not weigh much?

    I think that many city officials have been slacking in the planning department since the 80’s. Politicians can only think in short term sprints to make sure people are happy in the now, not worrying about the future. Its why many buildings in Seoul and suburbs are falling apart outside and in.

    • acorn

      i think de-centralisation and political devolution has led to this kind of fiscal and financial in-discipline and they indulged in massive-scale borrowing and vanity-projects without any due diligence and no oversight whatsoever…..

      this happened everywhere – 80s-90s in japan (where tons of municipalities are in talk of being liquidated), 00s in America (where tons of municipalities are being liquidated in california, and core services being outsourced…. including police and firefighter – stockton in California for instance)

      i hear seoul is also in similar trouble under the last 2 mayors but now they’ve austerity / retrenchment….

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